MILF vows to help achieve peaceful BOL plebiscite and respect results » Manila Bulletin News

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MILF vows to help achieve peaceful BOL plebiscite and respect results

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By Ben Rosario

ILIGAN CITY, Lanao del Norte – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has pledged to contribute to peace and order and respect the results of the January 21 and February 6 plebi­scite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in this province where a “No” vote is being vigorously campaigned for by local leaders.

Lanao del Norte Rep. Khalid Di­maporo revealed that the MILF’s posi­tion was made known after his father, Rep. Abdullah Dimaporo, and MILF Commander Bravo, promised a peace­ful plebiscite during a meeting set by the Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process headed by Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.

(OPAPP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez (3rd from left), Hadji Abdullah G. Macapaar a. k. a. Commander Bravo (center), and Lanao del Norte 2nd district congressman Abdullah “Bobby” Dimaporo (3rd from right) (OPAPP / MANILA BULLETIN)

The young Dimaporo lauded the OPAPP “for enforcing the commitments to peace and observance with election laws” as the plebiscite seeking to ratify the BOL approaches.

Galvez said Bravo and the elder Di­maporo met at Camp Bilal earlier this week.

“Both men have agreed to set aside their differences in preparation for the peaceful conduct of the upcoming plebi­scites for the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) scheduled on January 21 and February 6, 2019,” Galvez said.

The younger Dimaporo stressed the MILF’s commitment to respect the re­sults of the plebiscite in Lanao del Norte, as the campaign for a “No” vote for the inclusion of six Lanao del Norte munici­palities in the new Bangsamoro juridical entity gains ground.

“It is reassuring to know that as we campaign hard for the ‘NO’ vote to win, Secretary Galvez continues to shepherd the MILF’s commitment to peace, and that Commander Bravo will respect the results of the plebiscite, even if it will not be in his favor,” Rep. Khalid said.

The young solon said the Dimaporo-Bra­vo meeting was timely as it happened amidst increased tension in Lanao del Norte.

He noted that local officials have re­ported that armed MILF members have resorted to “community immersion,” or house-to-house campaigning,” to counter the strong campaign of Lanao del Norte Governor Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo for a “No” vote to the inclusion of the six municipalities and the further division of the province.

These complaints from local officials have prompted the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to take steps at strictly enforcing election rules to ensure a peaceful plebiscite on January 21, 2019 and February 6, 2019.

The February 6 poll exercise will be for voters in Lanao del Norte, except Iligan City, and North Cotabato munici­palities of Aleosan, Carmen, Kabacan, Midsayap, Pigcawayan, and Pikit.

Galvez said the AFP and PNP will deploy at least 10,000 security personnel to ensure peace and order during the plebiscite dates.

Dimaporo warned gun holders that the AFP and PNP will strictly enforce the gun ban, especially the bearing of firearms while campaigning.

“Battalion commanders have in­formed us that the MILF are prohibited to campaign in uniform and must strictly adhere to the total gun ban. Any of their members caught in violation will be dealt with accordingly by police and military troops,” Dimaporo said.

Col. Alex Aduca, Deputy Brigade Commander of the 2nd Mechanized Bri­gade and Col. Ronel Manalo, Commander of the 5th Mechanized Battalion said that “MILF members are required to coordi­nate their movements with the AFP and carry identification when campaigning in Lanao del Norte.”

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